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Ecosystem services: towards integrated maritime infrastructure project assessments
Boerema, A.; Van der Biest, K.; Meire, P. (2015). Ecosystem services: towards integrated maritime infrastructure project assessments. Terra et Aqua 141: 5-14
Peer reviewed article  

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    Management > Ecosystem management

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    Ecosystem services (ES) are defined as the benefits that humans derive from nature. These services represent different benefits for human well-being. The ES framework helps to analyse the impacts humans have on ecosystems and the feed-back effects these changes have for the ecosystem benefits to humans. Today many industries, including those in the maritime sector, are in the process of applying ES to evaluating their processes of manufacturing and delivering products.
    To that end, the Ecosystem Management Research Group (ECOBE), Department of Biology, University of Antwerp, Belgium and the International Association of Dredging Companies (IADC) have joined forces to explore the subject as regards dredging. This article is the first result of that research. The aim of this joint effort is to show that with the use of ES a more integrated evaluation of the consequences of maritime infrastructure projects can be achieved. The presented method of ES evaluation is applied to a dredging-related case study: tidal marsh restoration in the Polders of Kruibeke, located in the Zeeschelde, the Belgian part of the tidal River Scheldt.
    The authors would like to acknowledge Stefaan Nollet, project engineer of the Polders of Kruibeke (Waterwegen en Zeekanaal NV – W&Z) and Tom Maris, researcher at the University of Antwerp, for providing data and photographs of the project.

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